Andhra Pradesh

Amaravati not suitable for capital: Buggana

State Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy has said the government got flood models simulated on the basis of inputs provided by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-M) and found that 70% of Amaravati is prone to flooding at a level of one metre and 71% at half a metre. This followed a report published by The Hindu with the headline ‘At least 70% of Amaravati prone to floods: IIT-Madras’ on January 12 based on some credible sources in the Andhra Pradesh government.

Initiating a discussion on the Andhra Pradesh Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill, 2020, in the Assembly on Monday, Mr. Rajendranath Reddy said the computerised simulation of possible floods in Amaravati led to the recommendation that the government should give up the idea of developing Amaravati as a single capital city with large constructions given the conditions cited by the experts.

Besides, he said the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which was roped in by the government to study the pros and cons of developing Amaravati as a mega capital city, clearly advised the risks associated with it not only from the investment perspective but also from other factors.

The BCG has observed that the cost of developing Amaravati would be astronomical, estimated to be about ₹3,500 crore per 10,000 population and that it would not be wise to pour in huge sums in a city planned to be built from scratch, on the basis of international case studies.

It (the BCG) stated that only two cities (Shenzhen in China bordering Hong Kong and Navi Mumbai in India) out of 30 cities in the world built from zero in the last 50 years reached the projected populations.

The TDP government had mentioned in the CRDA master plan that the population in Amaravati would reach 1.50 to 2 million by the year 2040 against the present 1.10 lakh. This was proof of how much hyped the Amaravati project was, Mr. Rajendranath Reddy said, asserting that it was a big real-estate scheme promoted by the previous government.

‘Futile exercise’

Insisting that it would be a futile exercise to spend time and money on transforming Amaravati into a global city, Mr. Rajendranath Reddy said the government’s thinking was in tune with the models of development suggested by Srikrishna Committee, Sivaramakrishnan Committee, and K.T. Ravindran Committee.

The government engaged the BCG to know the opinion of independent experts as the analysis needed to be broad-based and should not be seen as a mere academic exercise. All the expert panels have said the same thing that A.P. should adopt the decentralisation model to set right the regional imbalances thereby fulfil regional aspirations which caused upheavals and turbulence every 10 or 20 years during the last 100 years.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 2:01:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/amaravati-not-suitable-for-capital-buggana/article30608184.ece

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